This summer most of us are going to be ready for a little R&R. Whether you’re just saying goodbye to the year that was… or if you’ve been reunited with some interstate family and friends and want to head off to celebrate, the Great Southern is the perfect place to relax and reconnect.
Last week we took you on an adventure through Albany, Denmark and Porongurup, unearthing the best places to see and stay awhile (if you missed it, you can check it out here.) Today we’re covering the lesser-known Mount Barker and Frankland River – two Great Southern regional gems and incredible wine-producing regions. These smaller towns have the countryside charm everyone adores and are making some internationally acclaimed wine varietals, most notably, Riesling. In fact, the 2020 Wine of the Year was awarded to Frankland River winery Frankland Estate for its Isolation Ridge 2018 Riesling.
Frankland River is the largest river in the Great Southern region and the eighth largest in the state! This country town boasts an array of local and natural attractions, the region is a popular destination for those seeking to be surrounded by nature, but still close to modern-day luxuries.
Frankland River Wildflower Walk
The wildflower walk is a must-see for botanical and flora enthusiasts. Situated on Trent Street and flowing through to Rocky Gully Road, Frankland River Wildflower Walk is an enjoyable outing for the whole family. With an abundance of orchids and native wildflowers, natural scenery, and birdlife, be sure to have your phone charged and the camera at the ready.
The largest lake in the area is perfect for cooling off after a hot day walking amongst the wildflowers. With soft, sandy beaches and panoramic views of the lake, visitors can bask in the summer sunshine, or spend the day sailing and jet skiing on the water. Surrounding picnic areas provide ample space for an afternoon feast before it’s back to the beach to watch the sunset over the idyllic waters. Camping areas are also available for those seeking to spend a night under the stars.
Frankland River Retreat
Nestled in the heart of the premier wine region, the retreat is located within a scenic 83 acres of uninterrupted views of paddocks and trees. Perfect for families or couples, with a choice of a family home with three bedrooms sleeping up to eight people, or a private cabin suitable for two adults. With Frankland town located just 14kms (10 minutes), the town boasts a beautiful children’s playground perfect for keeping little ones occupied as you sip on your freshly made coffee from the Frankland River Cafe.
Buried deep in the heart of Western Australia’s most isolated wine region, Frankland Estate is as much a part of its natural landscape as it is a winery. With a commitment to sustainable farming, Frankland Estate works in harmony with the environment and the natural elements. With isolation, comes exclusivity. Be sure to book in advance for the Travel Beyond the Cellar Door experience at Frankland Estate. With a personal behind-the-scenes guided tour through the winery with Frankland Estate winemakers, you will walk away with an encompassing knowledge of the Estate’s history, their organic farming practices and the microclimate unique to Frankland River. And last, but certainly not least, the tour allows visitors the opportunity to taste upcoming vintages from the barrel.
Known as the gateway to the South Coast, Mount Barker is home to the incredible Stirling and Porongurup National Park ranges, plentiful with local flora and fauna. In addition to notable natural attractions, Mount Barker abounds award-winning wineries and vineyards, ranking amongst some of Australia’s best.
Situated about 3.5 hours south of Perth in the peaceful village of Kendenup, Arcadia Vineyard produces cool climate wines with rounded and intense flavours. Positioned with stunning views of the Stirling Ranges, Arcadia provides the perfect setting to enjoy good wine with good friends. Be sure to book in for a tasting, and the Arcadia team can arrange a food platter of delectable assortments to match.
Save the date: Pencil in 21st January 2020 for the upcoming Grapes and Gallops for a day of exclusive wine tasting and live music.
Mount Barker Country Bakery
The ideal pit-stop for a day exploring the Mount Barker region. The bakery offers a range of savoury and sweet goods baked fresh every day. Known for serving Australia’s second-best chunky beef pie, along with cakes, bread, sandwiches and wraps, and not forgetting good coffee! There is something to happily fill everyone’s tummy.
If you want a really authentic wine tasting experience, head to Galafrey Wines to do a tasting with the owners at this stunning family-owned, legendary Mount Barker winery. Their winery offers some of the best views of the Porongurups, Stirling Ranges and Mount Barker Hill – so don’t forget your camera!
Windrush Wines and Café
If you like your wine with a spot of dessert, stop at Windrush Wines and Café. This is an adorable, boutique vineyard, cellar door and café, making sweet to dry wines, gourmet lunches and cakes, overlooking the distant rolling hills of Mount Barker, amongst beautiful wildlife.
Gilberts Wines and Café
With a cellar door and wine cafe that boasts a beautiful alfresco dining area and courtyard for you to bask in the sunshine, you have plenty of areas to sit back and enjoy a Gilberts wine while grazing their locally sourced menu. The family-run winery is known for its sensational Rose and is sure to be a favourite amongst visitors this summer.
Mount Barker Lookout
Situated a short 3km drive outside of town, the lookout resides on Mount Barker Hill and overlooks the Stirling and Porongorup ranges. The southern view affords onlookers glimpses of the amazing south coast on clear days and rolling green lowlands. A beautiful spot to sit down with a glass of award-winning 2020 Rose from Gilbert Wines, or some baked goodies from picked up at the Country Bakery, and relish in the scenery.